My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Bright spark CAVC apprentice Tom to represent UK at EuroSkills

Cardiff and Vale College Electrical Installation apprentice Tom Lewis has been selected for Team UK at the forthcoming EuroSkills 2018 contest in Budapest in September.

EuroSkills is the European championship of young professionals, and is the regional version of the WorldSkills competition. Young people from across Europe compete in a range of disciplines from Construction and Building Technology through to Creative Arts and Fashion.

“I didn’t expect to be selected but I was very happy – when I got the email I was over the moon,” 21-year-old Tom said. “I’m nervous but at the same time I’m looking forward to it as it’s going to be a great experience for me.”

Tom, who is from Maesteg, has been supported throughout the process by his employers Blues Electrical and his CAVC Electrical Installation Lecturer Geoff Shaw.

 “Blues Electrical have been really supportive, letting me go off on training at the last minute. They’ve helped me all along the way,” Tom said. “Geoff has been great as well, putting me in for all these competitions and getting me whatever I need – he recently got me a laptop – as well as being a great teacher.”

Blues Electrical Managing Director David Chandler said: “Our apprentice investment programme has paid off – three of the six finalists in this year’s Skills Show work for Blues Electrical which is a result. Our minimum of 10% of the workforce as apprentices target has provided the right result both in terms of competition entry as well as our day to day business.”

CAVC Electrical Lecturer Geoff Shaw said: “This is excellent news for Tom, and a real opportunity for him. I would like to thank Blues Electrical for their excellent support throughout – they really believe in and support their apprentices.”

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, said: “I offer my congratulations to Tom. This will be a life-enhancing opportunity.

“After Brexit, our economic success as a nation will be dependent on our ability to close major trade deals and attract inward investment – and this will always hinge on demonstrating we have people with the right skills. Team UK are the embodiment not only of the kinds of traits and characteristics that we should aspire for in a young workforce, but for the UK Government’s ambitions for Global Britain too.

“They are the leaders of their generation – and will inspire many more to walk in their footsteps.”

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.